Kendra is that friend that I feel like I grew up with. Six years ago, we serendipitously found ourselves in the same provisional group as we joined the Junior League and I’ve adored her ever since.
Kendra is equal parts smart and funny – an unbeatable combination – and when she tells a story, she will have you on the floor laughing.
When we first became friends, Kendra was an attorney at a large law firm and her husband Wes was an attorney at a different large law firm. Their caseloads never seemed to ebb and flow together which meant that both would be working crazy hours OR one would be working crazy hours while the other would have a short period of semi-normal hours.
As they started contemplating having children, they decided to make some changes. They exited their respective firms and parlayed their skills and experience into in-house counsel roles at two different Fortune 500 companies with local headquarters. Kendra has now moved into the business segment of her company.
As a working mother, I love it when my mommy gal pals continue their careers in a way that they define and not how someone else (a job, boss, employer, society, etc.) defines it for them. I admire and applaud Kendra for deciding what she wanted and then going for it.
Kendra’s Smarty Mom Stats:
Married to: Wes, 8 years (celebrated our 8th anniversary on September 8th, my birthday!)
Years in Charlotte: 8 ½ years
Mom to: Reagan, 11 months and Buckston, 7 year old Boston Terrier (cannot forget our fur babies!)
Occupation: Director: HR, Legal, Compliance and Audit, Family Dollar Stores
Home town: Greenville, SC
What surprised you the most about becoming a mother?
My motherly instinct. I am an only child and haven’t been around babies for long periods of time since I was a babysitter in high school, so I was worried I wouldn’t know what to do. Boy was I wrong. My motherly instinct set in the first day. I was also surprised by how much I loved her. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I would love her, but I had no idea how strong it would be. My friends told me, but I never really understood until that very moment I first saw Reagan. It brings tears to my eyes to remember that moment (coupled with the fact that it was a long birthing process – only kidding)!
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I can speak 5 languages. Just kidding. Honestly, there isn’t much that I keep a secret from my friends. My closest friends know just about everything about me. I am an only child, so I lean on my girlfriends and they know me like a book.
Favorite piece of baby gear?
That is a hard one, but I would say the one thing that was the best for me during the early days was the baby swing a friend let us borrow. Because I exclusively pumped after 5 weeks, I needed a place for Reagan to hang out when I was home alone . . . pumping. That swing saved me.
Carrie Underwood. I find her incredibly genuine, which is why I have a crush on her. Not only is she beautiful and a heck of a country singer, she is a firm believer in god and stands for what she believes in.
Best book you’ve read lately?
After I started practicing law I only read non-legal books on vacation. After having Reagan, reading books has become a thing of the past. I am very impressed by moms who read. I have no idea how they do it. This year Wes and I went to Hawaii for a post-baby moon and I read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. At the beach I read the second book in the series, The Girl Who Played With Fire. Looking forward to the third book whenever we have a chance for another vacation.
Favorite movie of all time?
Dead Poet’s Society and To Kill A Mockingbird (I auditioned for the role of Scout in a local play when I was young. I received the understudy role). Both are classics.
Favorite date night spot?
Roosters. Love that place. Great food, great wine, great atmosphere.
What is the best birthday party you’ve attended/hosted?
I would have to say my 26th birthday. It was my wedding and my sorority sisters surrounded me to sing the Zeta song and Wes came into the circle to present me with a birthday cake and everyone sang happy birthday. It was an amazing surprise, not to mention the fact that I was married on my birthday. Two special occasions I will never forget (and neither will Wes or he will be in serious trouble).
Minivan or suv?
SUV. I am not a minivan person, but my friends who have converted swear by them. I have an SUV.
What is your favorite CSP article?
Anything Susan writes because I can always hear her voice in the article. She is beyond funny! And an amazing mom. She is my go to mom for advice.
What is your “I could not live without my”…
Family, which includes my college girlfriends. They know me inside and out and I could not live without them. They keep me going.